I went into this movie completely expecting it to be the plot of Mean Creek on land. Well actually all i remember from Mean Creek was that Josh Peck from Drake and Josh lands a flurry of homophobic slurs and vulgar language on a bunch of kids on a canoe and ends up falling in and drowning. From that perspective, sure, this movie kind of follows that template. However, 2017’s Super Dark Time bends this plot scheme by adding its own touch of flare and twist endings.
Josh and Zach are best friends who live in upstate New York sometime in the 90s. They both share an infatuation with this girl named Allison from their school. One day they’re hanging out with their kind-of friend Daryl, a chubby kid with a foul mouth who is a total douche bag, and his 8th grade friend Charlie (why are highschoolers hanging out with a middle schooler i do not know). They go to Josh’s house and explore his brother’s room, who happens to be away at the military. They find a bag of weed which Daryl steals and a katana. Later at the park they’re cutting up cartons of milk when Daryl begins smoking Josh’s brother’s weed, thus causing Josh to freak out. The two begin fighting and eventually Daryl falls onto Josh’s brother’s katana, eventually dying. Instead of calling the police, ZACH suggests they hide the body. Charlie even helps hide the katana. After going their separate ways, Zach ends up punching a wall in anger and breaks his hand, thus needing to get a cast (its pink lol).
Zach begins having hallucinatory nightmares in which he sees Daryl’s risen corpse and a aqueous hole in his living room ceiling. He also dreams of having sex with Allison in the woods where they buried Daryl’s body, only to have Josh watching behind his back. During this time, Zach and Josh end up not talking as much due to Josh staying home from school and just acting suspicious overall. Eventually, Zach and Josh run into each other at Allison’s birthday party and things get a little weird. Josh gives Allison his brother’s weed as a gift (he doesn’t smoke) and they all smoke. Another party patron (who Josh hates) named John asks Josh if he can hook him up with some weed and he agrees. The next day, Zach learns that John fell off of a bridge and was dead. He then goes to Daryl’s burial spot and finds that the katana is MISSING!!! Eventually he barges into Allison’s friends room to find Josh has killed her friend and has slashed the back of Allison’s Neck. A fight ensues between Zach and Josh before a random stranger constrains Josh and the police are called.
Sounds like a pretty straight forward coming of age thriller right? Well for me I came out with a lot of questions. First off, the opening scene is of a dead moose that found its way into the school’s cafeteria. The cops come and they end up vacating the area and kicking the moose’s corpse. This doesn’t come back up later in the movie and it just felt like a weird throwaway scene. Secondly, how did Josh turn so evil so quickly? Like i don’t know, he kinda didn’t seem like the bad guy type in the first part of the movie. Sure his appearance gives off heavy Jeffrey Dahmer vibes, but he was the one who actually suggested they get help after Daryl dies. Its also not clear if he purposely stabbed Daryl or if the whole thing was actually an accident. I also don’t understand why Zach couldn’t kiss Allison despite having multiple clear cut chances with her actually putting her lips on his lips, yet he would always pull away. Was this a symptom of his trauma from watching his friend die? Was this his guilt not allowing him to kiss the girl he loved?
I loved the atmosphere of this movie, the whole party vibe, no parents, CD player and headphones aesthetic. It all felt very 90’s. My favorite quotes from this movie include:
-This kid looks spot on like a bagel”
-“Tomorrow marks the end of my week long fast from masturbating”
And lastly this recounted story about a conversation between Josh and his teacher
“I don’t recall you being deaf.”
“I don’t recall you being such a dumb cunt”
To close, I just want to bring to your attention that whenever a character died in this film, marijuana was involved in the scene in some way. Daryl dies after stealing and smoking Josh’s brothers weed. John dies after meeting up with Josh to buy weed. Allison’s friend Meaghan dies and Allison is slashed after they buy weed from Josh and smoke in her bedroom. I guess the real message of Super Dark Times is that weed kills and should be illegal forever! /s